A delegation of Iowa Soybean Association members spoke with reporters from Europe Wednesday, where they are on a trade mission to sell more of their product.
The trip includes stops in Ireland (Dublin and Belfast), Denmark, Hungary and Austria. ISA president Bill Shirley of Noway, says talks have been positive — but they haven’t talked about numbers. “They would like to increase their inputs from the United States — but nothing specific,” Shirley says.
Dave Dalton of Milton says recent talks between the administration and the European Union have helped with the discussion of soybeans. “I think the sense that we’vie gotten from this side is that trade has always been open. They have source South American beans in the past and now it makes more economic sense to bring them in from the United States,” Dalton says. “The agreement to continue to talk about some of the trade issues between the E-U and the U.S. has kind of eased some of those trade issues. I think in general we are going to see more trade between the U.S. and E-U.”
The delegation was asked if they think the E-U can make up the deficit if the trade war with China continues. Grant Kimberly says there is good demand worldwide for soybeans — and that will help. “China of course is by far and away the largest buyer, and its hard to completely offset all that if we were to need to offset a majority of that,” Kimberly says. “So, I guess time will tell. It’s just too early in the process to see where this will all go.”
They were asked if there was any talk of the administration’s actions on trade. Shipley says he was surprised that it wasn’t a big point of discussion. “There’s a few comments made which we all expected that. We expected a lot worse if you want to know the truth,” Shipley says. He says things have gone pretty well as they have talked about the basics of getting more soybeans into the European market.
The delegation met with representatives of the Irish Grain & Feed Association, Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association, Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danish Agriculture & Food Council, Budapest Ministry of Agriculture Department and International Relations, Hungarian Grain and Feed Association, as well as several farm visits across the countries.